Giants record: 11-6
This time last year: 6-10
Time of game: 2:39
Stat worth noting II: With the Giants looking to control the ball and the game, the Panthers dominated the time of possession in the first half, 20:48-9:12. Believe it or not, it got worse in the second half. The final numbers were 42:45-17:15.
Turning point: Late in the first half, the Giants were being badly outplayed yet trailed only 7-0 when they forced Carolina to punt the ball away. Jason Baker's boot hit Gibril Wilson at the Giants 17-yard line and Dante Wesley recovered. While the Giants held Carolina, the Panthers extended their halftime edge to 10-0, totally taking the wind out of Big Blue's sails in the process.
Play to remember: On the first play of the second half, with the Giants seemingly still in the game, Eli Manning threw a perfect strike to Jeremy Shockey for a 25-yard gain, the Giants' longest play of the day.
Plays to forget: Eli Manning struggled through the first half, but totally fell apart in the third period. On consecutive series, Manning had passes picked off. On a first-and-10 from their own 16, Manning was looking for Amani Toomer and had the ball intercepted by Ken Lucas. The Panthers scored on the next play to extend to a 17-0 cushion. On the next series, Manning badly overthrew Jeremy Shockey and Marlon McCree picked off Manning's offering.
By the numbers
26: Years since a playoff team has been shut out at home (1980).
28: Number of yards in the first half by Tiki Barber, who was coming off a 203-yard game in Oakland.
36: Number of first-half passing yards by Eli Manning.
What they said
"Our team played about as good as we have all season at the right time." – Panthers coach John Fox
"We didn't play well – plain and simple. They played better than we did, and they advance. I have nothing else to say." – Giants RT Kareem McKenzie
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